On the 13th of September 2016 the Council of Ministers announced the creation of new criteria for the citizenship by investment scheme.

The minimum investment amount has been reduced to 2 Million Euros from 2.5 Million Euros under the former scheme. The new criteria have immediate effect but investors who have already applied for the citizenship under the previous scheme have the option to withdraw their applications and re-apply under the conditions of the new revised program. Moreover, new applicants can either apply on the basis of the new or the previous scheme until the end of October 2016. From the 1st of November 2016 investors will only be able to apply for the citizenship under the rules of the new scheme. The main changes to the scheme are:

1. Minimum required investment is now only 2 Million Euros while under the previous scheme it was 2.5 Million Euros.

2. Under the previous scheme the minimum investment of 2.5 Million Euros only applied for collective investment schemes. However, under the new program, there are no provisions for collective investment schemes and the minimum investment amount of 2 Million Euros applies to individual investors.

3. The option that existed under the previous scheme of having a 3 year fixed term deposit with a Cypriot bank for a minimum of 5 Million Euros has now been removed.

4. There is now an option to invest a minimum of 2 Million Euros in Alternative Investment Funds.

5. The investor's parents can also obtain the citizenship under the new scheme provided that they purchased in Cyprus a permanent residence worth a minimum of 500.000 Euros + VAT. Alternatively the investor and his/her parents can purchase one permanent residence for both the investor and his/her parents for a minimum of 1 Million Euros.

6. Under the option of investing in a combination of criteria, there is now the option to invest in government bonds for a maximum of 500.000 Euros. The criteria, under the former scheme, to invest in government bonds 2,5 Million Euros under collective schemes or 5 Million Euros as individual investors have now been abolished.

7. The applicant before the naturalization as a Cypriot citizen must hold a residence permit in Cyprus for a period of at least 6 months.

For additional information or any questions please contact our law firm. Further, our page on citizenship by investment will be updated to reflect these changes.

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